Unreachable love from past past past life

Your Name [君の名は] has now generated over $1 Million at the Australian box office according to Madman Entertainment.

I am not a big Japanese anime fan, and sometimes would prefer to keep a distance from watching them, mostly because I see animation as something that happens in a world parallel to the reality.

To me I’m not really sure which one I like better — The theme song  “Zen Zen Zense” or the film itself. The film is a love story involving the switching of destiny and identity between a boy and a girl who met in the alternation of space and time. Complicated as it may sound, everything becomes crystal clear once “Zen Zen Zense” starts to play, as it nicely fills the gaps of the bitter sweetness of unreachable love depicted in the film.

The lyric line of Zen Zen Zense [前前前世] – even though it is just a simple phrase describing “past past past lives (many many many lives before… )”,the perfect rhythm gives the line an extra layer of power and firmness that echos in my mind. The dreamworld in the film has been brought even closer to me by this song, to an extend that it crossovers with the reality and sparks endless emotions and pictures about love, destiny and the boundaries that make them even more cherishable.

Zen Zen Zense in a nice female voice:

Taboo No More

I am quite amazed by the South Korean cat tattoos featured in this article, but not really surprised to learn that “Under Korean law, tattooing is defined as a medical procedure” and thousands of the country’s tattoo artists are still remain underground. In most Asian cultures (and many other cultures!), it’s common to associate tattoo with gangsters, criminals, an antisocial attitude or possibly a degenerating lifestyle. While traditional Asian cultures seem to have particularly low tolerance in accepting this kind of unconventional form of art which requires using human skin as canvas. For example, in Japan, where tattoo designs had been observed as early as Yayoi period, you can still be prohibited from entering hot springs or public baths because of tattoos in 2010s Japan.

Tatoo ban Image source
An oppressed environment for this kind of art form is probably not such a bad thing.  Every individual tattoo by these South Korean tattooists exists like a quietly burgeoning flower from muddy underground — subtle, delicate, telling unique stories just on their own (thanks to Instagram).

Soeda San

Sony released its PlayStation4 (simplified Chinese version) in Shanghai on 21 March. This gentleman— Takehito Soeda (添田武人) caught my attention. He is the Vice President of China Business Strategy department of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia. As a Japanese, he speaks very fluent Beijing-style mandarin and seems to be very confident dealing with Chinese media in this interview and many others.

According to this report from WPDang based on Global Manager. Soeda san has lived in Beijing since he was a child, and holds a B.A in Literature from Peking University. He also completed an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management as an “aged senior student”, which makes his education background more “global”. He has worked in companies like DELL, AT Kearney, Baidu Japan and is apparently experienced with cross-cultural marketing and management.

A quote from him: “When you communicate with someone, you should approach the topic on the same level and from the same perspective as the person, and also communicate in a way that can be understood by the person.”

Given that there are only 13 games available on PS4 for mainland Chinese users. Soeda san seems have done a good job in keeping the release of this new device a hot topic among the Chinese game players. Seen on various Chinese social media, he actively interacts with his team at Sony Entertainment China, as well as PlayStation users online. He has a nick name “Uncle Wu ten er”(五仁儿叔) and his fans has recently discovered that he was a special guest actor in Feng Xiaogang’s 2001 movie Big Shot’s Funeral.

Here are some screenshots of the film. Soeda san’s name can be seen on the cast list (top). He plays a Japanese film producer in this movie (bottom, man with glasses).

Takehito_1Takehito_2
Images: http://www.weibo.com/a9vg#_rnd1427109341244

I think this kind of “celebrity strategy” works well for Sony PlayStation in China. Soeda san represents a very friendly, competent, and unharmful Japanese senior businessman figure, which easily surpasses many political awkwardness and subsequently shortens the distance between the developer and its targeted consumers in China.

Maybe Sony Film should be considering applying the same strategy when they would like to expand its market in North Korea one day.

Tokyo SOWN 2009

My friend was invited to attend this event called “Sense of Wonder Night” (SOWN). This event was a part of 2009 Tokyo Game Show, and she described it as “amazing and inspiring”. Personally I’m not a fan of video games, but I went to check the website of this event and found it pretty interesting.

Basically, “Sense of Wonder Night” was started in 2008, according to its official website, it aims to

  • To introduce games with a game design and ideas that are experimental and creative, and that cannot be called conventional or traditional
  • To heighten awareness of the importance of creating a game that gives people a “sense of wonder”, a sense that something will change in their world, and to invigorate the game industry
  • To offer people creating experimental games opportunities for the future
  • To create new domains in the game industry

Having watched some presentations regarding the video games that won awards in SOWN, I think this event is a very good chance for people to dig what is behind the production of innovative video games, and gain an idea of the game developers’ brainstorming process. Not only did this event reveal these production concepts embedded in these awesome video games to the audience, it also brought the discussion to the next level by exploring the possible potential of these concepts in shaping people’s thoughts and perceptions within many other cultural areas such as architectural, music, advertising industries.

Here is a game titled Hazard — The Journey Of Life  developed by Alexander Bruce from Australia.
Check out the presentation of this game:

& the Trailor of the game:

 

Iphone Asia

Iphone has started its expansion of Asia market since 2008, while it seems that there are a number of complex issues they need to take care of at the same time of the launch of this world’s revolutionary smartphone in Asia. 

Japan— Aggressive Competitors
Release date: July 11, 2008

( Source: NY Times)

Japan is one of the earliest Asian market targeted by Apple, while its selling in Japan hasn’t been very good compared with other smartphones produced by companies like NEC, SHARP, and PANASONIC. Acccording to a report in 2008, iPhone only made up a tiny portion of Japan’s 115 million cell-phone market. Takeshi Natsuno, the Japan smartphone pioneer who developed Japan’s first Internet-linking cell phone service “i-mode” in 1999, said “smartphone has already reached a very mature market in Japan, so Apple might need to struggle a bit to reach its expected share of Japanese market.”

 

China – Priracy, better choice?
Relase date: Oct 30, 2009 

It is said that the largest ratio of pirated digital application is found in China (37%). Like some people commented, “Chinese don’t wait for Apple launch to get ‘iPhone’ ”. Actually the pirated version usually share a very similar looking of iphone, but integrates with a more local smartphone features such as handy Chinese typing applications, more compatible hardwares, and functions that help to speed up its internet speed under the Chinese telecom network…..and more importantly, their price is usually stunningly low.

 

(Source:www.iphonasia.com)

 

South Korea — in the shadow of battery meltdown

Release date: possibly November/December 2009

 

One of the main reason for the delay of the launch of Iphone in South Korea is related to Apple’s recall of 1st generation iPod nanos in South Korea happened early this year. Since December 2008, four users filed complaints with the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards over bugged iPod Nanos — three of them were for battery meltdowns while recharging. The issue was reported by mainstream Korean media and the pictures of melting Nanos have been circulating on the internet. In June 2009, Apple apologized for their neglect in selling the problem products and issued the recall and later released a statement reassuring owners of current-model Nanos. This incident generates pretty negative brand image and reputation for Apple Korea. As a result, South Korea’s telecommunications regulatory body has not given approval for iPhone to be sold in the country until 23 September 2009, and the actual launch date is still not known.

 

 

(Source: http://www.cultofmac.com)

The death of “Web 2.0” and Why Asia

The impact of term Web 2.0 is shrinking? According to this article, the author drew this conclusion based on the Google trend analysis retrieved early this year, which shows a significant decrease in the search for term Web 2.0 since 2007.

In my mind, Web 2.0 equals interactive web media based on user-generated content. However, with the stabilization and maturation of the technology related to Web 2.0, various forms of Web 2.0 services tend to generate very distinct user experiences and it seems that people don’t normally treat them as the same things. For instance, Google’s search engine and people’s personal blogs are all interactive media based on “Web 2.0” technology that surpasses web 1.0’s passively viewing experience and non-interactive homepage, but rarely do people consider these two things as the same thing simply because the experience associated with these two platforms are so different. It is same with Wikipedia and Facebook. As a result, people are more willing to consider these Web 2.0 services separately as search engines, blogs, wikipedia sites and social-networking sites instead of broadly referring them as Web 2.0 sites. So I guess maybe that’s one of the factors that contribute to the fading impact of the term Web 2.0.

Another interesting thing noted in the article is that when looking at the geographic regions that have generated the highest volumes of worldwide search traffic for the term over the years – it’s Asia, with the top 5 regions being India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia (in that order). This piece of fact demonstrates the particular significance of Web 2.0 for Asia. I think this is largely related to the great opportunities and business potentials brought about by Web 2.0 framework to Asia. Take Facebook for an example: in many other Capitalist market of the world such as Europe and America, Facebook takes a very significant share of the market as a social networking website. While in Asia, Facebook is more a type of inspiration, and a basic model for many local reconstructed or “clone” sites such as CyWorld (Korea), and Fropper (India), Renren (China), Mixi (Japan). These localized versions all occupy more share of the market than Facebook in their specific regions. So maybe it explains the popularity of terms of Web 2.0 in Asia, as the term signifies undeveloped potential for localization and endless space for innovation.

(Pic Source: Google Trend)